Jitterhold – This “monster city” has achieved its political stability thanks to the long-reaching and long-thinking plans of the priests of Dumathoin, the Dwarven god of secrets “that hides the sacred places within the mountains,” according to local lore. While ruled by a noble council that represent each district and major trade interest in the city, it is closer in practice to a theocracy thanks to the dominance of Dumathoin’s priests – and the power of the secrets they have mined against the ruling families of the city.
– – “The Hooded Monk” – established by a monk, renowned for the beer they brew
– – Jadele’s Jamboree
– – The Topaz Goblet. On Slate Alley, in an adventurers district of winding avenues and noisy taverns. Its neighbors include the workshop of a female halfling armorer named Lanta Urrok and the workshop of a female dwarf founder named Graga. The tavern is a single storey timber framed building, with a reinforced wooden door and dwarf-wrought iron tables and chairs. Accomodations consist of several large rooms with beds and straw mattresses. The inn was rebuilt recently after a devastating fire.
- The Char House is a tavern that attracts the somewhat more civilized monster races (and their derivatives) that inhabit Jitterhold – orcs, goblins, gnolls, and the occasional goat-folk are common sights here. Their menu caters to this crowd with a wide variety of heavily spiced meats charred over open fires as well as a lot of rotisserie selections. They also have beer so thick you can chew it. Large-size accommodations are available, and the innkeeper doesn’t mind if you bring “paid company” back to your room.
Local points of interest
- Woolgangie – Monstrous races are known for their appetites, and peace is maintainable so long as everyone has enough to eat. Woolgangie is one of the three towns dedicated to keeping Jitterhold’s belly full; the whole town is dedicated to the production of meat products. Groups of shepherds, typically of Smaller monstrous races (“wool-gangs”) drive large herds of sheep, goats, cattle, and other animals to the stock auctions, and afterwards the animals are slaughtered and processed in town. Many interesting varieties of smoked meats and sausages are available in Woolgangie as a result. On some days, the town can be smelled from a distance off – the blood from the abbatoirs combined with wood smoke has a very distinctive scent. During the great fall animal drives, the Curfitch River beside Woolgangie runs red with blood for days.
- Up-Longwarry – The Longwarry River is the second major river near the city of Jitterhold, so named because it has a moody tempestuous nature with lots of rocky rapids and moving sandbars, and it likes to flood. Its source is high up in the rocky mountains bordering the great desert east of the region. The river’s great volume, frequent floods, and distant mountain source make for excellent farmland with rich black soil, and is the reason for Up-Longwarry to exist. This town is a regional breadbasket that produces primarily rye, barley, millet, and oats, and it has a long-standing trade agreement with Woolgangie to let some wool-gangs graze fields in rotation, not only to allow the fields to rest for a season but also to let the soil benefit from the animal’s waste products. This also helps keep the fields of Up-Longwarry fertile enough to feed the region. Interestingly, the town of Up-Longwarry is built upon stilts, with bridges between buildings. This is mostly to deal with the frequent flooding of the Longwarry, but also has some defense applications as well.
- Vixesarri – The Curfitch River meets the Longwarry here to create a lush marshland called the Fens of Agajar, which are an example of Nature being the most beautiful when she is the most dangerous. The marshes are mostly untamed and filled with poisonous snakes and deadly plants, all made rich and incredibly green by the blood runoff from the town of Woolgangie. The town of Vixesarri is on the edge of the Fens of Agajar and the closest thing that passes for civilization there. It is surrounded by excellent rice paddy fields (again thanks to the runoff from Woolgangie via the Longwarry) and so serves as the second regional breadbasket. The town is mostly populated by those of a reptilian nature who favor the humidity. Because the town is located on the edge of the Fens, it is also a trading post for those brave enough to go hunting for leathers, furs, incense, and rare spell components in the wilderness. This gives the town a bit of a “last point on the Oregon Trail” feel to it.
- Samucoco – Samucoco is a village built up around a geological feature called the Singing Shards, a number of thin, jagged, blade-like basalt shards as tall as pine trees that form a “forest” of sorts around a small sterile saline lake. This area is called the Singing Shards because when the wind blows through the jagged basalt shards it whistles and “sings” as it goes. This coupled with the perfect serenity of its saline lake have made it a popular attraction for contemplative spiritual types, and the small town of Samucoco sprang up to service pilgrims and seekers of wisdom. Different religious cults claim different sections of the town, and charlatans and crazies are frequently chased off by private security hired by different religious factions. There is no town council per se other than different priests who manage to get the potholes filled and the drunks off of the streets, so a lively black market has sprung up in Samucoco as well.
- Tootheqerie- Originally founded as a semi-permanent encampment to shelter wool-gangs from storms, the town of Tootheqerie is the last stop out of the southeastern-most portion of Black Roost, heading east into the Painted Canyons and the desert beyond. Tootheqerie itself is a network of natural limestone caves and rock overhangs that have had additional adobe and stone walls added on to them, similar to cave or cliff dwellings common throughout the Middle East and American Southwest. One limestone cave has a natural spring bubbling from within it, a remnant of the ancient river that carved out the limestone caves in ancient times. There are a series of steep trails that lead up to Tootheqerie, as well as a large number of ladders; the locals will start a rockslide and pull up the ladders in times of siege, and they use the ladders later to climb down to clear the rubble if they outlast their attackers. This town is the last civilized stop before heading into the wilderness of the Painted Canyons, and the caves provide the best protection from the howling sandstorms that come out of the sandstorms that can last for days. This border town is a favorite of monstrous half-breeds such as half-orcs, half-ogres and the like, since being on the fringe their lack of belonging to a particular group causes much less friction. Ranger and barbarian classes are also common among these types, so it’s not uncommon to hire a half-gnoll barbarian as a guide through the Painted Canyons and beyond.